The Bulb Design Notes Project: Alliums, Shrub Roses and Perennials

The Bulb Design Notes Project features work by Janie McCabe of M.J. McCabe Garden Design. 

Combo: Allium christophii, pink shrub rose ‘Mystic Marvel’, Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote Blue’ (English lavender), Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle) and Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta daisy).

Location: Madison, Connecticut, USDA Zone 6b

Notes: This bed, positioned just steps from the front door of a beautiful waterside home, is designed for long-lasting seasonal color and easy maintenance. In summer, the perennials and repeat-blooming shrub roses carry the ball. An unexpected layer of interest is provided by the large, airy umbels of the Allium christophii. In spring, tulips are the star attraction—each year a different color. I pick tulip varieties or a blend in that color to provide sequential bloom, April till mid-May. After bloom, we pull the tulips here. In fall, we choose a new color and replant. This particular year, we chose orange.

The bulb experts at Colorblends thought it would be interesting to explore how some accomplished garden design professionals approach their projects. “We reached out to several designers whose work we admire and asked if they’d share the thinking behind some of their successful spring bulb and perennial combinations. Their generous responses are presented in The Bulb Design Notes Project,” says Tim Schipper of Colorblends, a national flower bulb resource. Click here to read more.

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